The shallow waters of Gem Lake are cradled high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Signs of these erosional forces - pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks - appear midway along the trail to Gem Lake. Other highlights include spectacular views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide, and a curious balanced rock called Paul Bunyan's Boot.
Directions: From Estes Park, Drive north on MacGregor Avenue. Cross the Hwy 34 bypass and continue to a sharp right turn and sign for MacGregor Ranch. Follow the blacktop ranch road to the parking area.
Elevation: 7,660 feet
Ending Elevation: 8,800 feet
Elevation Gain: 1,140 feet
Distance: 1.8 miles
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Expert Review of Gem Lake Trail
Active and Adventure Review of Gem Lake Trail
- This trail is outside the main entrances of Rocky Mountain National Park.
- This trail is a lake hike with moderate uphill.
Access: Twin Owls Trailhead
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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